In the previous posting on this subject, we criticized the so-called “Great Reset” on the grounds that it really wouldn’t do anything other than exaggerate the flaws in the current system. In our opinion, the socialized capitalism (or capitalized socialism) of the Great Reset doesn’t do anything except accelerate the alienation of human persons from society.
|"Economic personalism, eh? Hmm."|
The previous posting was essentially a summary of, and introduction to a recent article on an e-zine, “Catholic365,” “The Democratic Religion, or, The Great Reset.” The article gives a rundown of where some of the nutty ideas on which the Great Reset is based come from.
The problem is that the previous posting doesn’t really do more than point to a solution, without giving any specifics. In today’s intellectual climate, that’s a disaster, since many otherwise well-educated people have trouble distinguishing principle and application.
And that’s where today’s posting comes in. In the last posting we mentioned that Chesterton and Belloc had a little trouble with specifics of distributism, as their program was called. That allowed the socialists and the modernists to hijack it and turn distributism into something it is not, usually some form of socialism or capitalism in which purported opposites differ only in name from their presumed antitheses.
CESJ proposes “the Economic Democracy Act” to implement economic personalism . . . which is described in the book of that title, so if you want more detail, get yourself a copy of Economic Personalism, whether the free download available from the CESJ website, or the hardcopy that can be purchased from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
|"As many people as possible should own?"|
Anyway, the Economic Democracy Act (formerly or alternatively the Capital Homestead Act) is a comprehensive national economic strategy for empowering every American citizen, including the poorest of the poor, with the means to acquire, control and enjoy the fruits of productive corporate assets.
This long-range agenda involves major restructuring of our Federal Reserve’s monetary policies and our tax system (including estate and gift tax policies), to lift unjust artificial barriers to a more equitable distribution among all citizens of future corporate capital ownership. While promoting faster rates of sustainable and environmentally sound private sector growth, this national program would shift primary national income maintenance policies from inflationary wage increases and unproductive income redistribution expedients to market-based ownership sharing and dividend incomes.
The Economic Democracy Act’s central focus is the democratization of insured capital (productive) credit. By universalizing citizen access to direct capital ownership through access to interest-free productive credit and newly created money backed by productive assets (rather than government debt), it would close the power and opportunity gap between today’s haves and have-nots, without taking away property from today’s owners.
Goals of the Economic Democracy Act
As summarized below, the Economic Democracy Act is designed to:
1) Generate millions of new private sector jobs by lifting ownership-concentrating Federal Reserve credit barriers in order to accelerate private sector growth linked to expanded ownership opportunities, at a zero rate of inflation.
2) Radically overhaul and simplify the Federal tax system to eliminate budget deficits and ownership-concentrating tax barriers through a single rate tax on all individual incomes from all sources above basic subsistence levels. Its tax reforms would:
a) eliminate payroll taxes on working Americans and their employers;
b) integrate corporate and personal income taxes; and
c) exempt from taxation the basic incomes of all citizens up to a level that allows them to meet their own subsistence needs and living expenses, while providing “safety net” vouchers for the poor.
3) Restructure inheritance and gift taxes (“death taxes”) to discourage transfers of monopolistic concentrations of wealth from one generation to the next. In order to promote individual initiative, capital self-sufficiency and limited economic power of the state, inheritance policy should encourage the broadest possible distribution of private property ownership in income-producing assets.
Vehicles for Democratizing Capital Ownership
The “Capital Ownership Account” or “COA” is the primary tax-sheltered vehicle for the democratization of capital credit through local banks. It would enable every man, woman and child to accumulate wealth and receive dividend incomes from newly issued shares in new and growing companies, without being taxed on the accumulations (including property and shares gained through inheritance, savings, and arrangements like ESOPs, CSOPs and CLDCs). In addition to serving as a source of capital credit for corporate workers, COAs would also provide an ownership-building account for individuals who do not work for profit-making enterprises, such as school teachers, civil servants, military personnel, police, and health workers, and for individuals who have no remunerative employment, such as the disabled, the unemployed, homemakers and children.
The “Citizens Land Development Cooperative” or “CLDC” [also known as the for-profit Citizens Land Cooperative (CLC), Citizens Land Bank (CLB), or Community Investment Corporation (CIC)] allows residents of a community to share in the control and profits associated with land planning and development. The CLDC would encourage governments at all levels (from the community to the highest governmental level) as well as non-profit entities, to distribute the ownership of land and natural resources free to all citizens. This would encourage citizens to participate in development so they can share in planning, governance and lease incomes from the use of land and natural resources.
The “Employee Stock Ownership Plan” or “ESOP” channels low-cost credit for financing the needs of business corporations (such as expansion, capitalization and ownership transfers), and links private sector workers to ownership shares and dividend incomes in the companies for which they work. Shares acquired on credit by worker-owners are paid for out of the future corporate profits they help to generate.
The “Consumer or Customer Stock Ownership Plan” or “CSOP” lets customers of utilities share in the governance and profitability of “natural monopolies,” like telecommunications, water and power companies, mass-transit and cable television.